Military experience can lay a solid foundation for a career in your civilian life. With your teamwork, dedication, and the ability to follow directions, you’re a desirable candidate for many employers.
Depending on what your specific responsibilities were as an enlisted military member and what your educational background is, there are plenty of different jobs you could be qualified to work when you finish your time with the military.
But, are there certain jobs that are best for veterans who are looking to transfer their military skills into a new career? Yes—and there are quite a few of them.
Top 10 Jobs for Military Veterans
Regardless of specific branch and rank in the military, the main responsibility of enlisted military men and women is to defend the country. So, it only seems right that a job in security would be a seamless fit. Because so many veterans have been trained in everything from conflict resolution to self defense, they’re often a first choice for roles as security guards. Of course, many veterans also pursue careers in law enforcement. However, that route will require more formal training and education.
Similar to law enforcement, many veterans also gravitate toward jobs as EMTs. From the fast-paced environment to the ability to help people, this sort of role checks many of the boxes that veterans—particularly those with combat medic training—might be looking to fill in a civilian career. While veterans already possess great experience and qualifications, a career as an EMT will require some additional certifications. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians is a good place to start, and be sure to check licensing requirements by state.
With the threat of cyber attacks and hacks always present, technology has been a growing responsibility for the military. For those who found an interest for cybersecurity and solving complex technical problems, a career as a computer support technician or an IT specialist might be a perfect fit. Additionally, with the always increasing presence of technology in our own lives, this sort of role is in high demand. Veterans with solid experience could qualify for entry-level roles without any additional education or certifications.
4. Truck Driver
As a military veteran, you’re used to working long and often odd hours. You possess great mental stamina, and you have better situational awareness than the vast majority of people out there. For those reasons and many more, veterans can make great truck drivers. Whether you drive a semi across the country or work more normal hours driving and protecting an armored truck in your local area, a career in this field is an understandably popular choice amongst many veterans who choose to get their commercial driver’s license.
From tanks to cars to aircraft, there’s plenty of equipment in the military that needs to be adequately maintained. For veterans who have experience repairing and caring for that mechanical equipment, a job as a mechanic or automotive service technician can be a logical next step. Depending on what your military experience looks like, this is another role that might require some additional training or certifications.
You’re organized, detail-oriented, and know how to lead a team. You don’t give up on a challenge until you’ve seen it through to completion. Those are all excellent qualities to have as a project manager, meaning this is an awesome career choice for veterans who are eager to provide direction and keep things on track. There are voluntary certifications to become a project manager, but many employers would be willing to consider your military history as solid enough background to get your start in this career.
Many veterans excel in supply chain or logistics roles. Even those who may not have direct experience with logistics while in the military will still bring some knowledge to the table in regards to inventorying, managing, distributing, and warehousing assets.
The military expects you to be able to take direction, collaborate with a team, and maintain a certain level of physical fitness. Those are all characteristics and qualifications that will also come in handy in a construction job. Plus, those who are eager to enter the working world without needing to obtain additional training or education will likely be able to land an entry-level construction job right out of the military.
As a military member, you need to know how to form relationships, establish trust, and provide necessary guidance and recommendations. While it might not be the first career path to come to mind, many veterans—particularly those who are self-motivated—find a role in sales to be a natural segue from their experience in the military. Many entry-level positions likely won’t involve any requirements beyond your military experience.
Because military experience typically involves working with numerous people and overseeing or ensuring proper operations of a certain unit, a job in manufacturing appeals to many veterans. Contemporary manufacturing can provide steady hours, rewarding work, and opportunities to develop technical and management skills.